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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Man arrested for ill-treating pigeon

Man arrested for ill-treating pigeon

A 66-year-old man was arrested for ill-treating a wild pigeon after he allegedly tore the bird's wing in Tseung Kwan O in the early hours of yesterday.
The arrest came after police earlier received a citizen a video clip showing a man killing a feral pigeon in the public King Lam Estate.

The suspect, surnamed Chiu, is a retiree living in the estate. He was arrested around 5.45 am by officers who had been waiting at the public housing estate.

Police inspector Tam Chung-ki of the Tseung Kwan O district crime squad said pigeons might have been a cause of nuisance and hygiene problems to the locals.

However, she said the suspect had not made any complaint to the authorities in respect of the nuisance or hygiene concerns that may have been caused by the pigeons.

"He squatted outside the building and grabbed a wild pigeon. Seconds later, he released it," Tam said.

Officers who had been waiting immediately intercepted the man and examined the pigeon, only to find its wings had been broken.

Chiu was arrested for cruelty towards an animal - an offense punishable by a maximum sentence of three years in jail and HK$200,000 in fine.

He was detained as of yesterday's evening.

Police also notified the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals about the case.

An SPCA inspector arrived at the scene and checked the pigeon, saying the bird's wings had injuries that could not have occurred naturally.

The pigeon was taken to SPCA's vet clinic in Wan Chai for treatment and further medical examination. "We believed the injuries were caused by unnatural factors," an SPCA spokesman said.

But Tam said the force was still investigating the likely motive behind the incident and whether the suspect was also related to four other pigeon abuse incidents that had been brought to police attention over the past two years.

The suspect could face more charges if found be connected to other cases.

Local residents said the pigeons have been a cause of nuisance, and were shocked to learn that someone has been arrested over the case.

A woman, surnamed Yuen, said it was "quite annoying" to see pigeons at the windows.

She said people had been feeding the pigeons with bread. Yuen agreed it would be necessary to caution people not to commit cruelty against animals.

Another woman, surnamed Man, said people should stop feeding wild pigeons, adding there were so many of them in the estate that the pigeons could "cover the space of the floor".

"Sometimes it is quite a nuisance when we are hanging clothes outside the flat. The pigeons may poop on the clothes. They are just making the environment dirty," Man said.

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